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National Museum of Australia

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4

Lee Oskar harmonica

Object information

Physical description

A harmonica, a rectangular free wind instrument, made of various components which include a plastic comb, a brass reed plate, and metal cover plates. Etched across one side of the instrument is the text 'HARMONICA BY TOMBO / Les Oskar' and further etched text on the other side reads 'TOMBO LEE OSKAR / JAPAN'.

Statement of significance

The Val Plumwood collection comprises walking and gardening boots, tin whistles, harmonicas, a crocodile puppet, a book, and a timber sign. The objects are in good to fair condition.

From the 1970s until her death in 2008, environmental philosopher Val Plumwood powerfully critiqued traditional western concepts of nature. Her work exposed problematic attitudes to the natural world built into modern, western thought. Plumwood analysed how western understandings of an opposition between reason and nature were both historically constructed and devastatingly applied. Her understandings of natural systems grew substantially during decades of close engagement with the vibrant rainforest biota of Plumwood Mountain, where she lived in southern New South Wales, and after which she took her name. The experience of surviving a crocodile attack while canoeing alone in Kakadu National Park in 1985 inspired Plumwood to explore ideas about death within an ecological context.

Object information

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